States Asked To Subsidise Prices Of Drugs

Chairman, Forum of CEOs of State Social Health Insurance Agencies in Nigeria, Dr Simeon Onyemaechi, has asked health insurance providers to prioritize subsidized drug rates and quality facilities.

Onyemaechi also stressed the need to enhance health insurance coverage to ensure quality care accessibility across the country.

The chairman, who stated this during the Forum of CEOs Quarter 1, 2024 Review Meeting in Abuja, called on all stakeholders to rally around the vision of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and make it a reality in the country.

The meeting was aimed at fostering peer learning and capacity building among members, sharing collective goals to enhance efforts in achieving UHC across sub-national entities and contributing significantly to the country’s broader UHC objectives.

He, however, commended the state governors for financing Social Health Insurance Schemes, saying “Collaboration with National Health Insurance Authorities (NHIA) and ministries is essential to ensuring the success of health insurance programmes nationwide,” he said.

On his part, the director-general of NHIA, Dr Kelechi Ohiri, encouraged Nigerians to embrace the nation’s health insurance schemes to avoid out-of-pocket expenditure for healthcare.

He expressed commitment to ensuring financial access to the pool, which according to him, is also the mantra for the NHIA as well as most of the state’s health insurance agencies.

“Our primary objective is to improve access and coverage. And this will be arrived at by increasing enrollments across all the various schemes that we have to show that more Nigerians come under this umbrella of financial protection.

“This second thing is the equity agenda, which building on what the government has done through schemes like the Vulnerable Group Fund, and the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) to operationalise and make sure that we can subsidize and provide care that expansion of coverage is not just limited to the rich, but that the poor and the vulnerable are also covered,” he said.

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